The History of a Byzantine Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring with a Greek Inscription, about A.D. 1175–1300. Gold and enamel, 1 3/16 in. diam. Image courtesy of the National Archaeological Museum, Athens Separated by centuries, two women had the privilege of handling the same Byzantine engagement ring. By Ashley Hilton / 07.11.2014 At different moments in its history, two wealthy women from prominent[…]

Uncovering the History of a Long-Buried Byzantine Treasure

Pair of Wristbands with Birds and Palmettes, Greek, made in Constantinople, 800s–900s. Gold with granulated decoration and enamel, each 3 3/8 in. wide. Image courtesy of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, Thessaloniki, inv. no BKO 262/6 Buried twice over the centuries, a precious gold cuff from Thessaloniki, Greece, is a document of Byzantine history. By[…]

Byzantine Amulets and Jewelry: Status and Protection from Evil

Gold Chain and Amulet (detail of amulet), A.D. 600s, Byzantine, made in Lesbos, Greece. Gold. Image courtesy of the Byzantine and Christian Museum, Athens A gold amulet from medieval Byzantium reveals a long tradition of wearing jewelry not only for status, but also for protection from evil. By Tiffany Payne Malkin / 08.06.2014 Imagine a[…]

Hidden Beneath the Ruins of Eleutherna

Plaque with the Life of Achilles (one of three), about A.D. 300–350, made in Constantinople or Thessaloniki; found in Eleutherna, Crete, Greece. Ivory, 3 3/4 x 15 9/16 in. Image courtesy of the Rethymno Archaeological Museum Buried during the catastrophe that felled a city, a recently rediscovered collection of ivory plaques provides a glimpse into[…]

A History of the Byzantine Empire: Rome in the East

The Justinian Mosaic / Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.21.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Byzantium: The New Rome 1.1 – Naming of the Byzantine Empire While the Western Roman Empire fell, the Eastern Roman Empire, now known as the Byzantine Empire, thrived. 1.1.1 – Introduction Map of Constantinople: A map of Constantinople,[…]

Rome in the East: Art and Architecture of the Byzantine Empire

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (then Constantinople) / Photo by Arild Vågen, Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.15.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Early Byzantine Art and Architecture 1.1 – Introduction The Byzantine Empire began as a continuation of the Roman Empire but gradually became distinct through cultural changes. 1.1.1 – The East-West Schism[…]

The History of the ‘Green Man’ in the Greek and Byzantine Worlds

Keystone in the Shape of a Foliate Face, about 1225–36, made in Stymphalia, Greece. Stone, probably sandstone, 14 9/16 x 20 1/16 x 17 11/16 in., 176.368 lb. Image courtesy of the Chloumoutsi (Clermont) Castle Museum, Ilia An unusual carved stone from Greece reveals the changing political landscape of the Byzantine world in the thirteenth[…]

Iconoclastic Controversies in Early Christianity

Apa Abraham, c. 590-600, watercolor on panel, Egyptian (Bode Museum, Berlin) By Dr. Davor Džalto / 08.08.2015 Associate Professor and Program Director for Art History Program Director for M.A. Peace Studies Program Director for M.A. Arts Management The American University of Rome The word “icon” refers to many different things today. For example, we use[…]

Constantine VII and the Historical Geography of the Byzantine Empire

Emperor Constantine VII dining with Tsar Symeon of Bulgaria, 13th century / History of John Skylitzes (Skyllitzes Matritensis (Biblioteca Nacional de España) By Dr. Paul Magdalino Emeritus Professor of Byzantine History University of St. Andrews History and geography were fundamental to the identity of Byzantium as an ecumenical empire with a long existence in time and an outreach that extended to three continents.[…]

The ‘Vienna Genesis’

The fall of man and God’s covenant with Noah, from the Vienna Genesis, folio 3 recto, early 6th century, tempera, gold and silver on purple vellum, 31.75 x 23.5 cm (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 05.05.2017 Associate Professor of Art History Indiana University Wealthy Christian families living in the Byzantine world may[…]